42 answers

I Don't Know What to Do.... - Lake Odessa,MI

Okay Moms, I want to know what you would do if you were in my shoes. I am in a sticky situation involving some extended family. How do I go about this to keep the kids' best interests at heart without hurting feelings.

Here's the deal. I am a SAHM of 2 kids and love it. I keep the children of my family and my husbands family on and off, but I am by no means a day care lady, nor do I aspire to be. But right now I am keeping 2 nephews everyday after school until 7:30pm. I love the kids, but there are some issues.

My husband's brother and his wife live just down the road from us and they have two sons who are 5 and 4. They both work full time and have high paying jobs. The sister in law actually has two jobs.

So basicly, these boys get up early and are dropped off at their preschool/daycare by their mother. There they are fed breakfast and the older boy is walked over to kindergarten and the younger stays for his preschool. They are picked up at 3pm by their Dad and he brings theme right to me and heads off to work. They are with me from then until their Mom comes back in the evening. Of course I have already fed them. So they go home, get their bath, watch a movie and go to bed. And on the days their Mom is home, she has a babysitter come to the house and she works at home on her second job.

Recently, the older boy has started having trouble in school and has been getting very violent with his mother. He has stopped caring about getting into trouble and has stopped caring about his school work. However, at my house he is as good as gold. I have no issues with him at all. I feel bad because both boys cry and throw fits every day when it is time for them to go home.

I am in a pickle because she has told me about the problems she is having and it is obvious to me why he is so upset. These people don't see it. But I am afraid if I tell her the truth she will get offended and mad. I don't want to harm our relationship because I see the important role I play with her boys. If she would just give up one of her jobs things would be so much better. They have plenty of money so there isn't a financial reason for her to work so much. The other issue is that this is putting tension on my marriage because my husband is NOT interested in raising his brother's kids. He feels the same way I do, but he doesn't want the extra kids here all the time. Our house is small and he works nights, so I get his point. But I feel obligated and I love the boys. I want what is best for them. Right now we are the only stability in their lives. But WHAT IS BEST is them being home with their own parents.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for such wonderful advice! This is truly a loving community. I have read several great ideas that I truly believe will help. This is obviously a situation that needs to be addressed. Now I feel I have some tools that will allow me to do this in the best way. Thank you again to all of you!

My sister in law has begun asking me about the boys' behavior and is hinting that she wants to talk about this. She has opened the door and so I guess it's my time to help her. My plan is to go to her house with a bottle of wine (both our husbands are working nights right now) and create a loving atmosphere where we can just visit about it. I believe she does want help with this so I am going to pray more about it and do my best. Thanks again. Many hugs to all of you.

More Answers

Jesse,

You are the lucky one!!!. You recognize that you are an important role model in these young boys lives. I can't imagine a greater position to be in than making a difference in someones life. The boys will always credit you for what you are doing. Besides, your children are benefiting from having the boys around. They are learning to share, their toys and your time,as well as other valuable lessons. The old saying give and you shall recieve will make a lot of sence in the coming months/years. I suggest that you and your husband keep doing what you're doing and the rewards will be great! As for the parents... it sounds like they are selfish people with a blurred value system. It won't be the last time their boys are victims of bad decisions made by their parents and they, unfortunately will grow up experiencing many mistakes and dissapointments. The consistancy that you bring to those boys is priceless! Aside from casually mentioning that the boys might be screaming for more attention from the parents the next time they bring up the incidents at school; I don't suggest that you get into any conversation about their lack of parenting. It won't end well and the last thing the boys need is for you to be removed from their lives. You sound like a wonderful, caring mother. Do what you do best and you will ALWAYS be happy! Tired at times, definately. But happy with yourself ALWAYS. Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

It sounds like the parents are selfish and don't

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My sister had a problem like this with my brothers kids. She had them at least 4 days a week after school and then on the weekends all day. It was out of control! My sister has 3 kids of her own that she home schools. Her husband like to do family things on the weekend and it's nearly impossible when they had 2 extra kids for most of the day. They were honestly headed for a divorce over it. I finally called my brother and his girl friend and told them like it was. They needed to work out thier schedules so that my sister only had the kids 3 days a week and only every other weekend. The didn't realize that it was a problem. My sister never let them know she had any issues with it. She was always "oh, sure I'll keep them" I was shocked! So my question to you is are you letting them know that it's a problem? They probably don't even know that you're getting burned out. Comunication is the key! You need to tell them that having their boys every day is wearing on your marriage and family life. Tell them they need to only count on you 3 days a week starting in 2 weeks. That will give them time to make adjustments to their schedules. Don't most people have 2 days a week off? If they can't live on 2 incomes each working 5 days a week then they need to evaluate their spending. That's probably not something you need to say to them though. Lots of families live on one income and we all do what we have to do to get by, they will do the same with out taking advantage of you. You probably are the only stability for the boys but you can't parent their kids they have to. You can just do the best for them when you have them. You have to put your kids and husband first. Good luck and don't forget to communicate!
Rachelle

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You are in a pickle:( If there is going to be any change in your situation I think the four parents need to sit down and discuss the problems, issues and solutions. I have seen career oriented woman do an excellent job of juggling children, job and still maintain a healthy marriage. Yet I have seen great struggles too. Life has struggles. It may be helpful to go into the situation with the attitude that everything is going to work out the best for the children. This is time where the slogan "ChildrenFirst" really fits. It is a very rewarding job to be a mother and that the pay is not in cash or monetary value but payment is a daily deposit into a successful adult later in life. If this family has an understanding of working hard for a successful job then relating it to building successful adults. The parents time spent with their children is far more impacting than just providing a place to sleep, eat and play. The natural relationship between parents and children are to teach them life lessons, to love them always and believe in them. I could go on with my philosophy but enough said. I will pray for you to have courage and wisdom.

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I think you have gotten a lot of great advice. So first let me just say as a mom who works outside of the home, I can not imagine taking advantage of a a SAHM-so not all of us feel that way (though most of us feel judged). I respect your decision to stay home, I just wish others would respect mine to not. (J. not included, because she obviously does). You really just need to be honest with them both and your husband needs to be there too, the dinner idea is great make sure though it is someplace neutral so they do not feel attacked. It will be hard for them to make those adjustments at first but they can, and will find life eaiser once they do. I manage to juggle a full time career, motherhood to a growing pre-schooler, a marriage of 11 plus years, as well as volunteer several hours a month as a mentor to college women teaching them how to balance life. Maybe you could either check something out from your local library, or do a search on amazon for some books that might help her learn this juggle. However, I would agree that she may need to pick one career over the other.

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You have to tell these parents the truth for the sake of your nephews! Honesty is always hard to hear; but in the end they should realize that you have the best interest of their children in mind. -At least someone does!
If you want a nonconfrontational way to handle this, my first step would be to sit down with your nephew and talk. Get him to open up and be honest about his feelings and his source of anger. Then, communicate these feelings to his parents, or help him to. Hearing their son's feelings should be a huge eye opener to them.
Being a SAHM you have your priorities right! Hopefully you can help another family who hasn't figured it out yet. Good luck!

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Hello J.,

You do really have the boys' interests at heart, that is clear from your question. You are doing the boys a wonderful service, but as you say, the best thing is for them to be with their parents.

Normally I would not advise interfering with others' parenting decisions, but they have indirectly involved you with their decisions by placing their children with you. I think it may be best for you to ask the mom if she would like to hear your thoughts on it and then gently, oh so gently, share with her your own convictions on the importance of a mother in her children's early lives. Don't accuse her of anything negative or undercut her authority; just share your own beliefs and experiences with your own children. Maybe try giving her a pamphlet or article that deals with this issue objectively. Show her that you are on her side in wanting what is best for her family.

That is great that you like the old fashioned ways. I am that way too, as is my husband. I am the mother of 5, with the last one being born at home after the first 4 C-sections. We have homeschooled them all and appreciate all things natural.

God bless you in your love and concern for your nephews. Pray for discernment and the right opportunity to come along and for the right words and attitude. I will say a prayer for you.

F.

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Holy Cow I don't either. I have run a daycare in my home for over 20 years and my kids were raised with a ton of kids. I never aspired to be a daycare provider but like you fell into it as the stay at home mom. My kids who all have their own kids today try not to take advantage of my time and will offer to pay me if they are working and earning money. Other times I do it because I'm gramma and I want to. Luckily my 4 girls all talk with each other and share the idea not to burn me out and respect my need for self.

In your case obviously your inlaws don't respect your time over their own. As long as you say nothing things will stay as they are because they must feel you're fine with it. I would say if it's your husband's family the two of you should invite them to dinner at a restaurant (very important) not at your houses where the kids can hear the discussion; and talk about your love of their boys, BUT the need for your own special family time. That the days are long for you with kids (even tho you love them) and you are feeling you need more adult time. Perhaps your sister in law will identify that she has long work hours and not enough family time with her boys and husband.

Optional: Also tell her your grocery bill has increased somewhat and that you and your husband do not have the same financial resources they do and if things are to continue the way they have been it would be nice if they could chip in on some of the food bill. This may bring up the subject of money (which you may not want to address). No one ever feels like they have or make enough money no matter what an outsider may say or believe. However after running a daycare for years, the food bill really stacks up.

Being honest is always the best bet. If this continues much longer your relationship is going to continue to deteriorate anyway and you will become resentful toward them. Addressing this before it reaches that point is always a risk. They may get mad and refuse to bring the boys over for awhile, BUT it may force them to spend time with their own kids as well as realize how much you are needed and appreciate you even more. I know this is a risk to take and only you can decide what to do. Kids are resilent and the reason the boys act up is for attention. They want to know their parents want and love them. If nothing else print this out and show it to them. Then you can blame it on me. Most concerned, C. S.

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It is always difficult when it is family. Perhaps the situation wouldn't get as heated if it was handled through the men. Your husband could say that you two need to cut down the number of days that you have the boys. This situation needs to be their responsibility, not yours, regardless of how much you love the boys. Good luck

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I would suggest that you could look up some information to help her deal with what's going on at home and give it to her to read at home. Maybe include some info that suggests that time with her children is more important than having more money. There is lots of that sort of information on the web and also at the library(field trip?). I have found that telling someone your own opinion is useless, but if they have information they can read from experts will help.

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That is a tough spot. I'm very outspoken, but have a tendancy to be able to cushion it. The next time she brings up their behavior, mention that they are fine with you. Suggest that maybe they are doing it to get her attention, seeing that they don't get very much of it during week/evening. If she asks what you mean, go into a little more detail. Make sure she understands that you don't want to upset her, but that you see this as the potential problem. If it isn't handled soon there could be a lot of regrets later on, as well as resentment.

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You already have great responses, but I have a different angle. Being home raising kids is hard...very hard. Could it be that she is afraid to be home with her kids with nothing to do. Maybe she is so unsure of her parenting skills that it's just easier to work. I work 2 days/week and they are by far easier than the days I stay home. Luckily, my daycare is family. While you are talking with her, tell her what a good mom she can be and how much fun it is to sit on the floor and be a kid yourself sometimes. I have actually seen parents who don't know how to talk to their own kids...sounds funny but it happens! Def be honest with her about the behavior, but be supportive, too. You'll do the right thing, and if you get no response then all you can do is be the stability that those kids need while they are with you!
~L.

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Your first obligation is to your family (husband & kids). Do what is right to make things right for you & everyone (especially your nephews). Your nephews cannot speak for themselves because they are only children. So you must step in and tell their parents for them. They (nephews) need you to do this for them! Someone has to stand up for them! They need their mother & father's love & attention! If you or no one else will...the matter (problem) will only get worse especially with the older child right now. Please...for the love and sake of the children. Tell them. They must know even though "the truth will hurt". It's so hard to be the person that has to carry the load. And why you? Because you are the "strongest" in your family! Stand up on the grounds of "love" and say what has to be said and then leave it at that. You will always be there for them and you have never let them down before and they know this! In the latter they will respect and admire for your courage! Good luck!

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I would simply tell her, in a nice way, that her son has expressed his love for his Mom several times in your presence. Explain to her that you feel he is crying out for more attention and time with her. Also, have your husband explain to them that they need to keep their children more often. This will free the time for your family and force your inlaws to be parents to their children. Good luck!! :)

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that child is crying out for attention from his mom. In that case even if it is negative attention at least he is getting some. You need to let the parents know what you think or his actions will continue to get worse. It could lead up to an attack at home, school, or even at your house if he gets angry enough. If she can't give up the second job she should check into the boys and girls clubs of America or the big brother big sister program. HE needs someone as a mentor that will show him help, love, and the attention that he needs. Please offer him help...and letting his parents be aware of what is going on. Sometimes parents arent' aware how a child could be feeling rejected unless they are told.

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Honesty is the best policy! Too many times we all cannot see what is so obvious to others and we need a true, good friend who is willing to tell us. If they have the best interest of their children at heart, and can put their own ego aside, they will hear you...especially if it is done in a loving way. Of course, it may not register at first...they may need to digest the input. So, be patient.
Good Luck!

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Hi J.,
How about this? Tell your inlaws you can't watch their kids anymore. You can have the excuse be that you want the house quieter around bedtime, or that you just don't have time for four kids that close together in age. Whatever it is, do it nicely, but be firm. Give them a timeframe, such as two weeks' notice. It is sad what they are doing to their kids, but you need to pay attention to what you do with your own kids. We SAHMs think we have to help the whole world, and while that's admirable, your kids need you the most and should be your highest priority. If you feel too bad about it, arrange a day, such as once or twice a month when you'll have the whole group over for a play day. But, ultimately, the other two are not your responsibility; your two are. People tend to take advantage of SAHMs. Just remember, you're doing it for your own children, not theirs.
I'm actually a retired SAHM. My youngest (and only one still living at home) is 19.
Have a great time. You'll miss it when it's over.

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It is called tough love. You can say to your sister in law. "Can I be totally honest with you?" Tell her she may hear something she does not want to hear, but you are being totally honest with her. She may not relize what is happening to her children and how they really feel. They are young and do not know how to verbilize what they are feeling and how they really miss not being home with mom and dad. It will be tough at first for the mom to take back the children and be a mom. The kids will have to adjust due to, you do things differently than she will do. You also have more patients with the children due to you are with them more and have the maternal loving that she has foregot she has, and will need to dig deep within herself to bring out. If she gets mad when you tell her; she needs to be with her children and give up the second job, later in life she will be very glad. You can help her by taking the children only in an emergency. You are not their mother and it will be hard for you to give up the bond you have with them and your children will miss them not being around. It is a good thing to get the children and their mother to bond now at this age, when they get older, their will be bigger problems and things can and will get more out of hand than she may want to deal with. Good Luck and my prays are with you and the family.

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Above all I would not involve the school unless you want Child Protective Services knocking on your in-laws door. I would just tell them that you can't keep doing it because of the toll it is taking on your family. You could suggest that she take a cue from you and really assess whether all her work is really meeting the needs of her family or creating more problems than it's worth. If she gets offended or mad, it might be a good thing. Because then you know that she already *knows* that it's a problem but has been in denial until you pointed it out. You guys will work it out over time but the time to act is now for the sake of those boys.

I would encourage her to keep the job that allows her to be at home. She sounds like the type that needs an outlet. But she still needs to connect with her kids if she wants to raise loving, stable children. The children's relationship with the mother is the MOST important relationship they have. Those kids probably feel completely cut off and are going to suffer tremendously if it continues.

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Hi J.,

I honor you for thinking of your nephews first. They obviously are in need of a nurturing home, and you're trying to provide that for them. Perhaps your sister in law just doesn't realize how important it is to physically be there with her children. She may be trying to attribute her boys' issues with something more complicated. But it's so simple. Take time to hold your children and listen to them, and they will feel loved and nurtured. I understand that you don't want to lecture your sis-in-law with this kind of stuff. Perhaps you could say something like "I think your boys just want to spend more time with you" or something like that. You don't have to suggest that she quit one of her jobs.
Now, as much as I respect your dedication to your nephews, remember that your first responsibility is to your own family. If this situation is really affecting your family life, than you need to tell your sis-in-law that it's taking too much of a toll on your family and you can't do it anymore. Maybe that'll be what it takes for her to spend more time with her kids.
Good luck!
L.

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Hi Jessica,
I feel so bad for the boys and your family. I don't know your in-laws but if you feel that they would respond positively to talking to them, I would do that. Try and do it so that they know the kids' best interest is at heart.

If you think that they would respond negatively to being talked to I would keep my mouth shut. If the boys love coming to your house after school and feel the love you have for them, it is their best interest that they continue to do that. Do they pay you for watching them? Maybe if they did it would make them think twice about having you watch them. Plus, it would be nice extra money for you and your husband.

Whatever you decide I hope the best for you and your family. It's hard when family is involved. Good luck.
Chris

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Wow J. - you are between a rock and a hard place - This is a really tough situation to be in. I've been in a similar situation with my sister-in-law for years, almost 20 to be exact. I've never had to watch her children, but I've seen for years how her parenting has had adverse affects on them, and I've always taken the stance that while I don't agree with the way she raises her children, I respect her as their mom.

Recently we got into a really sticky situation. Her oldest daughter has gone off to college, and routinely calls me to talk about her issues with her mom, and to ask for money of course, neither of which I mind. My advice to her is to always love and respect her mother, even if she doesn't agree with the way she says and does things. Anyway, my niece and her mom (my sister-in-law) got into a really bad argument, and my niece called me and proceeded to have an anxiety attack while we were on the phone. I had to call the local police department to send the police and ambulance to her apartment because she was there alone at the time, and I was scared out of my wits.

My husband called his sister to let her know, and instead of being concerned about her daughter, she starts railing against me! And where I'd always held my tongue I had to let her have it. How dare she try to make this issue about me?? Well, needless to say, this got REALLY ugly REALLY quick and caused some tension between my husband and I.

But you know what? I'm glad I finally said something. I haven't spoken to my sister-in law since, but my niece said her relationship with her mother has improved. I say all this to say that, as long as you keep the best interests of the child at heart, and speak from a place of love, you'll have to let the chips fall where they may concerning your personal relationship with your in-laws.

Also, ALWAYS encourage the boys to love and respect their mother - your influence and encouragement may go a long way with them, and may impact the way they behave once they get home. Use your influence in their lives positively.

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Wow. Sticky indeed. Well you could try "Is being here causing problems because they don't give me any problems" or "Would it be better if I didn't watch them?"
In other words, offer yourself up as a kind of sacrifice? Humility. Let them know you care about them and the kids, but if it causes problems for them to watch the kids, maybe you shouldn't because you don't want to be the source of trouble between you and them.
This is in other words givng them an opportunity to think of solutions. Let them figure out the problem, as these are their kids.
Good luck to you all!

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I am a mother of 4, granny of 5. I lost my 26 year old son in Iraq a few years back. So I have a different view on what is important or not. I was dedicated to my boss and job for years, then when my son died everything changed.

This world is about relationships, plain and simple. We are the ones who get caught up in "gotta have". Because of this our children have suffered. Just look at the children of our nation.

Short of calling Super Nanny, which this mom and dad truly need, just to see themselves and what they are doing to these beautiful gifts.

I would sit with the boys and give them a space to vent. Then with lots of prayer and love see if you can arrange a session where the boys will feel safe in sharing how they truly feel with their parents. Creating a safe space right not is vital to them. All they really want is the love and attention of their own parents. Not day care and movies. Your talking to the parents is going to have to come from true love and not judgment. If they feel you are judging them they will run and be ever angry with you.

Bless you for being their safe space at the moment, this is memories they will carry always.

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I have been on the sister-in-law in your story. I agree you are in a very difficult position but I would like to tell you how things worked out with my sister and I.

I was a single mom of 2 children. I moved near my sister when I divorced and she watched my children for me for nothing (at first). I used her to the degree where I should have been embarassed but she was so good at taking care of them it made it easy for me to do so. She only wanted what was best for my kids and I think she hoped I would finally realize what I needed to do to be a mom. I, too, worked 2 jobs and I also went to school. I worked because I needed to financially but I went to school as another way to get away.

Here is my advice to you because of what happened in the end with me. Stop or radically cut back watching her children. It will make her very angry, as it did me, but that is necessary to see what she needs to do to care for her chidren. With me there was a time I just hired someone else to watch them and I'm sure it was so hard for her to see someone else watching her neice and nephew and certainly not doing it as well as she did. I'm also sure it was hard for her to see me not "getting it" or the reason she stopped in the 1st place. Evidentually, I got it and I am a much better parent for it. I now see all I missed being so self-absorbed and all the things I have no idea I was missing with my kids.

I know this will be hard for you. I am pretty sure they will be angry at you for not HELPING as I'm sure they see it, that is how I saw it. I am now so thankful she made me step up and parent and I am better for it. Also, my sister and I are so much closer now than we ever were.

I hope this helps. Good luck.
M.
____@____.com

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Hi J.,
Well you are "in a pickle" aren't you. I feel for you because I could see myself in your same situation. I stayed home with all 3 of my girls and then only worked some very part time jobs. My family always came first and I love doing domestic things. I always said I would have made a great "50's" mom. You have a great heart! But it sounds like you need some "tough love". You expressed yourself well in your post, if you could just share this with your relatives. You have some great insight into the situation with your nephew. Someone once shared with me that if you have to share something negative with someone to think of a sandwich. The slice of bread on top is something positive to say about the person. The filling of the sandwich is the negatives and then you end with the other slice of bread which are more positives. I hope this helps.

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First off, you want to still be a part of your nephews' lives. You also want to relieve the tension in your own home. Why don't you tell them that for whatever reason, you are only able to watch her children 2 days a week. That way you have time with them and can be a guiding influence in the lives that they need, yet you are not smothered with them all of the time. After all, they are not your responsiblity when they have able bodied parents. You also may want to spend some time doing things together through the week with just your kids and husband and having your nephews there, family or not, does disrupt your household. And not to be selfish, you are with children all day. You need time to be YOU and time to be WIFE. You wear many hats. It's hard to wear more than two at a time.

I am answering based on experience. In my home we have my 17 year old twin boys, my 14 year old son, his 15 year old daughter, his 5 and 4 year old son, our 2 year old son and my 14 year old nephew. The 4 and 5 year olds never leave because their mother lost her parental rights (we even had her other 2 children here until foster homes could be found). My nephew is temporarily here because his mother moved out of state for work and didn't want to pull him out in the middle of the school year. The other children have other parents they see every other weekend.

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As much as you hate to do it, you have to tell her, in a gentle way of course. Too many parents these days think raising a kid is feeding and clothing them. Her child is young now, but what will he be like in 5 years if this type of lifestyle continues? Your family should not be burdoned with raising her children no matter how much you love them. Your children need your time too-and your husband is right to not want them there all the time. They need their own parents. Perhaps you could find an article to hand to her about the topic of kids acting out because their parents aren't there for them....or just google it. I bet there are tons of articles out there. I think you'd be doing her a FAVOR by telling her. She needs a wake up call. good luck. K.

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You've gotten some good advice and I am definately in the camp of lovingly confronting the family. Yes you are doing your nephews a tremendous favor but saying nothing is denying them what they truly want-their parents love and attention. Also these unspoken thoughts you and your husband have of their parents neglect is no doubt charging the house with some negative energy, which may fuel your nephews anger. Tell them lovingly that their boys miss them and crave their attention. There are some small steps they could do to change. Could they read the boys stories instead of putting a movie on for them? Have a weekly date with each boy where they do whatever they want?

1 mom found this helpful

Honesty is the best policy! I too have been in this hard situation. You & your husband should sit down with them both & discuss lovingly with them what you see from the outside looking in. They may get a little defencive, because lets face it, we all want to think that we are doing the best job that we can with our children.... but if you tell them how much you love them & just want to see their boys adjust with their Mother better hopfully they will understand and it can bring your families closer! Best of luck!
M.

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Hello J.,

I know this is easier said than done but the way i see it that you have a responsibilty to say something to your sister n law, and i know that she will be upset from start but in the end she will think about what you said and what she is doing (which is unbalanced behavior for her family)and she will respect you more in the end. Your relationship may change for a while but it will be worth it because her child is crying out. If the people who are close to us and in our inner cirlce can not tell us the truth or give us their honest,sincere observation than who can? PLEASE PRAY FOR THE RIGHT WORDS AND TELL HER WHAT YOUR OBSERVATIONS ARE, and maybe you can start off by letting her know that you are outside looking in but you want to share what you noticed with her and you would be less than a friend if you didn't and that she can consider what your saying if she feels it applies or throw it out if it does not. After all it seems as though you have a strong relationship with her children and she respects andtrust you that has to mean something.

signed hope this helps

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This is a very tough situation. I applaud you for being sensitive, because children have to be delt with delicately. I would advise you to talk to the mom and the dad. Maybe over dinner. Make sure it is not just over the phone or in passing, so there can be a conversation for everyone to share their opinion. You cannot continue this without sharing your opinion, especially when it is clear to you that she needs to spend more time with her children. Children need attention and if they don't need the money then she should respect the fact that you are shedding light on the situation. It is crazy that she does not see this herself. Some people are just not cut out to be parents. I am sure she loves her children dearly, but love includes having their best interest at heart. I feel that it is your obligation to at least tell her as nicely as you can, especially if it causing a strain with you and your husband's relationship. It will eventually effect your children, because you and your husbands relationship will leave tension in the air for them to absorb.

1 mom found this helpful

Sometimes people get so caught up in "planning their days" they forget the important things in life. I think you need to speak with the boys and get their perspective on their lives and what it is they want. After that, you need to make an appointment with the woman, so you will have her undivided attention (no cell phones or Blackberries allowed at this meeting) and simply tell her gently how you and your husband are feeling and more importantly, how her boys are feeling. You need to find a way to make her aware that her boys and her family are more important than any job. You also need to speak with the father, maybe have your husband speak with him and then both of you speak with them together. You and your family are in my prayers.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear J. S.,

I have never been in this type of situation, but I have heard of similar situations on reality-type shows and this is the gist of what I have heard.: People often don't believe the truth if you tell them because they only hear/see what they want to hear/see. Greed or overspending may be the root problem and they can't see that they really don't _need_ that much money coming into the household.
I would watch them often as you can if your husband allows. He is your authority figure under God and when you obey him, you are in essence obeying God. We will treat God the same way we treat our husband. If your husband does not want you babysitting for them all the time, you will have to tell them he said you cannot do it except (whatever days/dates you and he choose ahead of time to tell the mom/dad of the little boys). Sounds like the little boy wants you more than Mom because he can see that Mom doesn't want to be around him. They can see what she is not seeing. To a little kid, time means love. Whatever gets her time is what she loves most is how a little one sees it. He doesn't have all these other ideas to cloud the issues and he only sees that his mom does not choose to spend any time with him except just before going off to somebody else.
This website is great and I know you will gets lots of ideas to choose from.
Hope all works out well for all of you concerned.

L. C., Zeeland, MI

1 mom found this helpful

People including family will take advantage of you if you let them, Let the parents know that it is really cutting into your family time, and possibly offer to do this maybe a few days a week. I always felt if my sisters were going to dinner I would keep her kids, but if she is out earning a living, than you should expect to be paid for your services. If having other children in your home family or not you need to be compinsated. I know you of course love your nephews but they are not your responsibility, and of course you are going to resent being taken adavantage of. Does she ever keep your kids so you and your husbaand can get out for a date night. She should!

COntact the oldest childs teacher and get the school social worker involved too. That boy needs someone to talk to, and maybe a call from the social worker will be the wake up call. if not, at least the child has an another authority figure to talk to and look up to. Bless you for caring.

Why are they in day care when their father is home? You said he picks them up from daycare and takes them to your house before going to work himself.

Does the Mother work over 12hours??

Sounds like they aren't interested in raising their children either honestly. And the kids are suffering greatly for it. They need the stability of Momma and Daddy.

Maybe they have some debt you are not aware of. Just because they make good money does not mean anything. I find it hard to believe she works 2 jobs b/c she loves it. If you have a good relationship with her than talk to her. Of course the boys are good with you, all kids are when they are with someone else besides their parents. If you don't feel comfortable talking to them didn't you say this is your husband's brother?! And he is the one who doesn't want them around as much, let him handle it.

Tell them in love you sense the kids need to spent more time with their mom.

Hi my name is L.. I think the best solution would be to mention to her she should get a nanny for the boys so they have stability in there life and yet they become more aware of the amount of time they are spending away from the boys because they are paying the nanny. I am a nanny and a mother to a 14 month old boy and I'm currently looking for a new position so If she does decide on a nanny please let Me know! Thanks and good luck!

Hi J.,

Yes dear, you are in a pickle. I understand everything you are saying, it bothers me immensly that people go through having babies and then wants everybody else to raise them. It would be my suggestion that you pray about this situation and how best to handle it. When in doubt, wait upon the the LORD and since you like to do things the "old fashioned way", I beleive that to be in alot of senses the Bibical way...women are to be obedient to thier own husbands. I will be praying that the LORD will give you the discernment and the words. You really sound like a giving and loving woman, your heart is in the right place. I will also be praying for your husband's nephews.

Walking in HIS truth & light,
M.

Have a talk with them. All four of you need to sit down and have an honest talk about their oldest and what you see happening. If I was the parent, I would like to know how to solve the problem and put my child first. Just be loving in your approach. I hope things work out for all of you, and especially the children.

Maybe instead of you being the one to talk to your SIL, could your husband possibly talk to his brother? Thats all I can think of! Sorry I'm not more of a help!

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